Lionel Messi’s calendar year goal scoring record could be in danger if the Zambian Football Association’s claims are something to go by.
The FC Barcelona forward over the weekend scored his 86th goal of 2012 against Real Betis to break Gerd Muller’s long-standing ‘goals in a calendar year’ scoring record that stands at 85 goals.
However, Zambia’s football body (FAZ) are claiming that the record neither belongs to Messi nor Muller, but that Zambian striker Godfrey ‘Ucar’ Chitalu holds the record having scored 107 goals over the course of 1972 the same year Muller is said to have set the record.
“We have this record, which has been recorded in Zambian football, but unfortunately it has not been recorded in world football.” A spokesman of the association told Zambian media
“Even as the world has been looking at Lionel Messi’s record, breaking Gerd Muller’s, the debate and discussion back here has been why Godfrey’s goals are not being recognised.
“What we are doing is, we have commissioned an independent team locally to go back into the archives and record minute-by-minute each of those goals. The team that we have put together is going to calculate all of those goals, recording whichever game or tournament they were scored in.
He says the FAZ will send the results to CAF and FIFA for consideration.
Chitalu (a former five-time Zambian footballer of the year who sadly died in 1993), set his set a record in 1968 when he scored 81 goals for Kitwe United for the year, before shattering his own record four years later by sticking away 107 in all competitions during the same 12 months that Muller set his ‘record’ in 1972 although Chitalu’s feat was never officially recognised by FIFA.